Notifications & Messages

Jared Hamilton
From: Jared Hamilton
Hey - It’s time to join the thousands of other dealer professionals on DrivingSales. Create an account so you can get full access to the articles, discussions and people that are shaping the future of the automotive industry.
×
ActivEngage

Exclusive Blog Posts

What People Are Looking For In An Auto Repair Shop

What People Are Looking For In An Auto Repair Shop

Those who have been involved in some sort of accident have the next step of finding an auto repair shop. These shops are not all created equal as some are …

One Price Selling – What Are You Waiting For?

One Price Selling – What Are You Waiting For?

Most Dealers are closer to a One Price Selling sales process than they may realize. If you’re an excellent pre-owned dealer you’re basically no…

What Is Your Chemistry With Women Buyers?

What Is Your Chemistry With Women Buyers?

Wow, its December. Last month of the year. Now is the perfect time to begin to reflect on the customer processes, engagement and strategies you have in pla…

Want to Advance in Business? Here are a Few Ways to Stay on Top of Your Game

Want to Advance in Business? Here are a Few Ways to Stay on Top of Your Game

If it’s time for you to take the next steps in your career, there are some tried-and-true methods that can ensure your success. All business professi…

BDC training for 2017

BDC training for 2017

  We have a service and sales bdc team for each of our stores. One is a Hyundai store and the other is a Chevrolet store. We have Three sales Bus…

This week I was thinking about what I would do if times were tough and I was still on the retail side of the business? What changes would I make in my Internet sales department? So, I decided to put together a list of seven easy to do things at your dealership that will absolutely have an impact on your Internet sales and productivity. This list is compiled to get you thinking about things you can do right now without adding to your budget.

  1. Redesign your autoresponder for shoppers- I have always found that autoresponders are a terrific place to make a great first impression and set the tone of how the Internet sales process will unfold at your dealership. Most autoresponders I see only state that the lead has been received and someone will get back to them ASAP. But, this is such a great place to do so much more. While I know that Internet shoppers may not read all the emails you send them, this one will not only set the tone but could establish if the shopper will even open up any of your additional emails. Take the time and rewrite your autoresponder or better yet make it a video and send the Internet shopper a link. Include specials’ highlight events going on at the store, post the latest rebates and incentive. Video it hot right now so leverage it and get personal.
  2. Create an email offers to previous prospects- a monthly personalized offer to your shoppers is a great way to stay connected.  Continued follow up even with your nonresponsive shoppers can yield results. Stores that I work with that consistently send email marketing offers always result in at least a couple opportunities that bubble to the surface and at least one sale. This sometimes is completely overlooked at dealerships but always produces results. Put a combination of new and used in the offer to give your email maximum penetration for your Internet sales.
  3. Make two extra calls per prospect- A major point of poor Internet sales results in falling short on follow up process. Just when you think you have made enough attempts to contact a shopper add two more attempts to the schedule. Another key piece of this is also calling at different times. Try first thing in the morning or later in the evening. Mix it up and try to find the sweet spot to make contact. Just two extra attempts will absolutely connect you with more shoppers this month. Calling more will get you a couple more appointments and in this economy that is exactly what you need.
  4. Send one additional email per prospect- I refer to this email as the last man standing offer, to try to break through the clutter and get your shoppers attention. This email must be text only without any graphics. The goal is to make it through any potential spam filter roadblocks. Ever wonder why almost all spam you receive is text based? Simple, it gets through to people’s inbox. Create your most powerful email offer and deliver it in text only form. Make sure you have a powerful call to action at the beginning, middle and end of the email. Just sending an offer is not enough. Explain to your prospects what to do next.
  5. Update your website specials weekly- I visit so many dealership website and their special page is blank or hasn’t been updated in forever. We all forget but statistically I can say that the specials page on your website is one of the most looked at pages on almost every single dealership website I have visited. Take the time keep it updated and watch your Internet sales grow. Here is a good example just click here.
  6. Ask for an appointment at least three times for each call- asking for the appointment is critical. Just listen to some of the phone ups at your dealership and you will see huge opportunities. Salespeople just don’t ask for the appointment enough during the call. I found that setting a minimum of three attempts ensures we have made every attempt to move a phone-up from interest into an actual desire to come into the dealership and purchase a vehicle. Here is another article to increase test drives for your dealership.
  7. Email all new car leads a pre-owned vehicle offer after 30 days- Cobalt, Yahoo & Polk did a industry study a while back that documented that shoppers will switch from a new vehicle to a pre-owned after the first 30 days. It might be due to the realization that they can’t afford a new vehicle and now they need another option. The key to this is to make sure your marketing doesn’t pigeon hole shoppers into what they originally sent their lead form in on. After 30 days expand the options for shoppers.
These are just a few easy to do things that can have a sales impact in your Internet department immediately. I always found that by just looking around you can find many unique ways to increase your business without it costing you a dollar. Here is one more bonus idea to increase website sales.
Happy Chatting,
Todd Smith
Jeff Scherer
These are good tips Todd. So many dealers fall into the "one-and-done" mentality when responding to e-leads. Follow-up IS critical! Consider the fact that this prospect has probably sent out multiple requests to different dealerships. I see a fair amount of e-mail replies that unfortunately end with "let me know if I can help you futher." Folks, that IS NOT a call-to-action. You need to provide a compelling reason on WHY you need to speak with that prospect, or WHY he needs to come visit you. One way to do this is to end your e-mail with a question to the prospect. It's sort of like asking a question on the phone, then pausing for a reply. The prospect may be more inclined to respond if he thinks you are hanging on the other end waiting for him to answer your question. Also, when you call, have a pre-defined goal in mind. Don't just call and leave a message like "I'm responding to your inquiry on the XYZ. Please call me back." Leave a more compelling message like "Not only do I have the XYZ that you asked about, but I also have a beautiful ABC that might be of interest to you." Everyone is sick and tired of getting canned emails. Personalize wherever possible. No prob in using templated emails, but take the time to add in a personalized sentence or two, or again, finish with a question.
Philip Moore
Todd, Great tips, especially #1. Don't waste a customer contact. Get some content into your auto response. Our dealer customers have seen terrific results from attaching the Carfax logo and link to the Carfax report right into their auto response. When the VIN isn't passed in the initial lead, auto responder text that says "call or come in to get a Free Carfax on this car" is also very powerful in moving customers further down the funnel.
Catherine Edwards
In today’s digital world, the customer drives the process. Customers keep dealers at bay (phone / email / internet lead vs. walk-in) until they have decided who they want to work with. To be the one that wins the customer’s attention requires price transparency and a respect for the customer’s information-gathering process.
Bart Wilson
I like number 7. One of the key reasons customers can't afford the new vehicle they built is because they over-built it in the first place. Offering used as well as less equipment new is a great way to continue the dialogue. In my experience its all about creating an email or phone conversation with the lead. Too many internet leads are lost because the salesperson can't make contact.

 Unlock all of the community & features  Join Now